Benefits Of Papaya And Raw Green Papaya
Origin And General Information
Latin Name : Carica papaya
Christopher Columbus called papaya "the fruit of the angels".
Papaya is called 'papita' in India.
Papaya tree and the papaya fruit are both called papaya.
Papaya is a native to tropical regions of Americas and cultivated originally in Southern Mexico. Nowadays, it is cultivated in most tropical regions of the world.
Papaya is a tree like plant with a single stem going straight up and a crown of leaves. The lower leaves start shedding off as the plant grows upwards and one can see the leftover marks of the fallen leaves and plucked fruits, on the stem as the plant grows upwards.
Papayas come in 2 varieties though they are available in various sizes. One is the red or deep orange flesh and the other the yellow fleshed.
Green papaya is the unripe papaya in both the varieties. The papaya fruit is somewhat shaped like a pear but quite big from and from 7 to 20 inches long. The flesh has a soft ,silky smooth consistency with a soft and delicate, sweet taste and flavour. The seeds are black and round with a covering of a transparent gelatinous substance.
The seeds are edible but having a bitter peppery taste. All the parts of the papaya tree including the fruit contain papain, a protein digesting vegetable enzyme, equivalent to pepsin, the protein digesting animal enzyme.
Raw papaya has a higher concentration of papain than the ripe one.
Uses Of Papaya
Papaya is used as a food, fruit, as a cooking aid and in folk medicine.The ripe fruit is eaten raw while the unripe fruit is cooked before eating. Papaya should be eaten after food.
The stem and bark is used to make ropes.
The pectin in papayas is used to make jellies. The black seeds are sometimes used to substitute black pepper when ground. In fact, many times, adulteration of black pepper is done with papaya seeds. Papaya seeds also help relieve itching due to mosquito bites, when rubbed on the bites.
In parts of Asia, the young leaves are eaten as a food after they are steamed, while in some other areas, a tea is prepared from the leaves especially as a remedy for malaria.
Papaya extracts are used in soaps and other skin care products. Papain is used as one of the ingredients in some chewing gums.
Because of the high content of papain in the raw papaya it is used to make meat tender.
Papaya benefits in various health conditions.
Selection & Storage
For immediate consumption as a fruit use only ripe papaya that has reddish orange skin. One with yellow patches and slightly green will take a few more days to ripen.These fruits can be covered in a newspaper or a paper bag along with a banana to speed up ripening.
Ripe papaya benefits the most when firm but yield slightly to gentle pressure. The skin should be blemish free. However, a few black or moldy spots is okay and will not affect the flavour of the flesh provided they are not due to bruises or cuts on the skin.
The ripe fruit when stored in the fridge covered in a plastic bag will keep good for about a week.
Green papayas should be eaten only after cooking or in cold salads.
Avoid overripe, bruised and very soft fruit as the taste has deteriorated in it.
Papaya seeds are edible though its taste is bitter and peppery. The seeds contain papain which makes meat tender.
Papaya seeds are antibacterial, protect kidneys against toxin related damage, remove intestinal worms and detoxify the liver. The seeds are high in fat and protein and contain good amounts of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, as some research studies indicate, though USDA has not listed the nutritional composition of papaya seeds.
It is obtained from the green unripe fruit by making cuts on the surface everyday for 4 to 5 days till the entire latex flows out.
Latex has 2 enzymes, papain and chymo papain. The latex when dried and powdered is sold as a meat tenderiser. Latex also has other medicinal uses. It is also used in mattresses and clothing.
Uses Of Papaya In Traditional Medicine
- Tablets made of papaya are used in digestive problems.
- Papaya consumption during pregnancy causes abortion and this property has been used to induce abortion and also as a contraceptive measure.
- Papain is used for treating cuts, rashes, burns and bites. The flesh is applied topically.
- Papaya benefits by removing worms.
Nutrients In Papaya
- Papaya is rich in precursors of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B Complex, folates, minerals and fiber.
- It is also rich in antioxidants, low in sodium and calories, high in potassium and no cholesterol.
- Papaya skin and seeds contain numerous phytochemicals including polyphenols.
- Papaya fruit and other parts of the tree contain papain, a protein digesting enzyme.
Nutritional Values In Papaya
Papaya fruit (Carica papaya), Fresh, Nutritive Value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Percentage of RDA
Health Benefits Of Papaya
Papaya benefits in heart diseases especially in people with diabetes. The folic acid content in papaya converts the homo cysteine into benign amino acids, (unconverted homo cysteine damages the blood vessels), thereby preventing damage to the blood vessels and consequently prevents strokes and heart attacks.
Papaya improves digestion, prevents constipation, controls diarrhoea and reduces risk of colon cancer. It cleans and strengthens the stomach and intestines.
Due to the presence of enzymes papain and chymo papain, antioxidants, vitamins C & E and beta carotene, papaya offers anti inflammatory benefits and is useful in treating and healing burns, asthma and arthritis.
Papaya benefits in ear infections, colds, flu and keeps lungs healthy.
It is good for eyesight in general but has excellent protective action against macular degeneration.
Papaya prevents nausea both motion and pregnancy induced.
The leaves protect against malaria.
Papaya and green tea benefit by preventing prostate cancer.
Papaya benefits the skin, makes the skin color lighter, relieves acne and imparts a glow to the face. Rubbing ripe papaya flesh on ringworm relieves .
It controls dandruff and is good for the hair, benefits in irregular menses.
Papaya lowers cholesterol. The anti oxidants in papaya do not allow oxidation of cholesterol. When cholesterol is oxidised, it sticks to the walls of the arteries causing them to narrow down internally, leading to heart diseases. The fiber content reduces cholesterol too.
Papaya improves immunity due to the vitamins C,E and A in it and benefits in throat infections like tonsils etc.
Eating papaya benefits in jaundice.
Possible Side Effects Of Papaya Consumption
- Unripe papaya should not be eaten by pregnant women as the latex in it supposedly induces miscarriage by triggering contractions of the uterus.
- In some people papaya consumption may cause appreciable gastritis.
- Consuming papaya in large quantities may exhibit powerful laxative effects.
- Raw papaya can cause sores, inflammations, irritation in the entire alimentary canal and digestive system.
- Excess consumption of papaya may cause yellowing of the skin and palms.This condition is reversible if consumption of papaya is stopped.
- Some people may be allergic to different parts of the papaya due to the enzyme papain.
- Papaya products containing papain enzyme may cause stomach disturbances, rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, breathing and swallowing difficulty. The enzymes thin the blood and lengthen clotting time.
- Those with latex allergy should avoid papaya.
It is made from the leaves of the papaya tree. It is rich in digestive enzymes and vitamins A, B, C, E and the minerals zinc and phosphorus.
Benefit of papaya leaf tea include :
- Anti tumor activity leading to protection against tumors and cancers.
- Protection against alcohol induced gastric damage like ulcers etc.
- Correcting issues related to digestion due to the enzymes it contains.
- Offering a diuretic effect reducing swellings etc. However exercise caution if you are taking other diuretics as taking papaya tea could result in excessive fluid loss.
- Take papaya tea as directed on the label.
Homemade Papaya Tea Recipe
Chop up three leaves and cook in one litre of water.
Simmer until the water is reduced to half, strain and store in the refrigerator.
Fifty ml, three times a day is considered to be a therapeutic dose.
For preventative measures it is used in much the same way that the Japanese drink green tea.
Papaya tea stays well for about 3 days. If you do not have a fresh supply of leaves, consider preserving the leaves either by drying or lacto-fermentation.
- Health benefits of papaya and papaya seeds
Papaya or pawpaw contains carotenoids which are antioxidants and are effective cancer-fighting agents. Papaya seeds are also potent containing antibacterial properties.
- Why Shouldn't Pregnant Women Eat Papaya?
Why shouldn't pregnant Woman Eat Papaya, the latex concentrations in unripe papaya make it unsafe to eat during pregnancy, find out why.
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The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.